The astrophysics research group is hard at work developing compact analytics that describe Compton scattering in strong magnetic fields in the magnetospheres of a group of highly magnetized neutron stars known as magnetars. Such strong magnetic fields are not accessible in terrestrial laboratory experiments and therefore provide unique environments for testing the physics of quantum electrodynamics.
Here Kam is hard at work making sure that the spin dependence of the algebra correctly includes the spin dependence of the electron as it is either aligned parallel or anti-parallel to the external magnetic field. Though the initial state is anti aligned, there are two states to keep track of their spins – an intermediate virtual state and a final state after the scattering takes place.
William is mainly programming in C++ developing efficient algorithms to integrate complicated expressions associated with the lifetime of excited Landau states of electrons in strong magnetic fields.
Jon is helping with algebraic gymnastics. He joined out group with the challenge to improve his math skills. He is making significant contributions.